Since my last post a few people have mentioned that it must be hard transitioning from one part of U.S. to the other, and others have wondered how the kids have dealt with this big of a move.

My answer to that is: we stay busy, busy, and busier.
To be honest, as much as I would like to really sit down and reminisce, I realize that I cannot afford to, either practically/logistically or emotionally.  It’s just not healthy.  And that’s how I’ve kept the kids from sinking backward into “I wish…” mode.  We simply move forward, taking one day at a time, learning to embrace everything life has to offer us today…yet never forgetting yesterday.

So our days are filled with school and play.

Ny is working on a Saxon 5/4  worksheet.  I added a plastic sheet protector which I cut in half and taped to it so I wouldn’t have to keep making copies and wasting paper.  She whizzes through most of these now and we’re getting much better with our multiplications.  We are currently working on improving our 8’s and 12’s.
Z’s been interested in these counting bears for quite a while now (I brought them out last summer).  Besides sorting and counting them, she just likes playing with them now.  I am trying to think of some new gadgets to either buy very cheaply or make for her now that these bears are beginning to lose their luster. 

Stringing beads are still a hit with Z.

Anytime any one of us begins to feel like we miss someone back home, I suggest that we either call or write a letter.  Ny has found some solace in talking to her friends and writing letters– not to mention it’s just good practice (letter-writing).  I am trying to show my girls that although we are in a different place, we are not alone and we are not lonely.  We still have people who care for us dearly and love us, and everyone is only a phone call, letter, email, or Skype call away.  (Oh, and Facebook chat).  Plus, we have those big trips and planned visits on the horizon to look forward to.  I never stress the idea of being far away, but the truth that really, it’s a small world- and we’re still in every way connected those whom we love.

We write letters to family and friends back home.

Because hubby and I are keeping this tone in our home, it frees us up to enjoy our lives here, which is something the Lord has been helping me to see.

what to do next?

Rock climbing at one of our local parks.  She didn’t get too far but it was a fun try!

The Lord’s been showing me a lot about freedom and trust.  The trusting part is obvious.  He opens a door to an opportunity to move across the U.S. and we could have easily turned it down out of fear.  Fear of the unknown, mostly.  Trusting Him was obviously a tremendously HUGE part of our lesson in this move, and this lesson is not over, but still very much in progress.
But He is also showing us some things about freedom.

Freedom is being able to enjoy the small things in life.  The smallest pleasures can be our treasures when we are not cluttered with fear.  I am finding that just a walk to the park with my girls has become an enormously deep pleasure imprinted in the depths of my heart- moments I will never forget and that I will always treasure for life.
You might say, “but it’s just the park”…but to me, it’s so much more.  In this new phase of my life I think I am becoming awakened to the art of appreciation in a new and profound way.

sitting on a whale in front of a local museum

These next few pictures may not mean much to you, but to me they mean a lot.  It’s because the lessons my husband and I are learning about embracing life to the fullest are trickling down to our children, sometimes consciously and maybe at times just inadvertently.  So, I allowed Ny to use my camera today to snap some photos around the city, just at random.  What I found was that she was surprisingly eager to learn more, embrace more, take on more with that small camera in the clutch of her palm.  And even though these are random pics of store signs, they meant a lot to Ny…because this is now HER city and HER life.  It doesn’t matter how long this time will last– what matters is that we enjoy it, and take it one day at a time.

It’s probably obvious that these are pics that mean something to her. Her idea wheels were spinning as she’s mapping out some potential opportunites in her own life.  I love to see my kids feel inspired, empowered, and motivated!
Again, another art studio.  Do you see a pattern here?

I think Ny took some pretty good shots.

You know, as I mentioned earlier, we always want to stress to our kids that they (and we) are never alone- no matter what.  And we mean that in every way possible and with all sincerity.  And I think that God must think that too…
He must surely have created us to feel that way because, after all, so does He.  The fact that no matter how far away we feel we are from Him, that He is never far away.  He is always nearby, in our very hearts and lives, in fact.  He promised that He would never leave nor forsake us.  How much closer can He possibly be?  He is with us all the time, wherever we go.  Every step we take, God is there.  If we ask for His direction, not only will He be there, but He will direct us so that we take the right steps as well.  I don’t know how much clearer He can possibly be to us that we are never alone.  Ever.
So as His kids- all of us- we are never to fear.

 Eventually the sky darkens- seasons change- people come and go- things happen that don’t always make sense.
But it’s in those moments that I am reminded of something very, very important.
Jesus alone– He is our rock.  
Everything else will change, but He never will.  
As long as we find refuge in Him, we can never, ever be alone.